Marketing Strategy: An Important Plan for Restaurant Recovery

Paul Segreto
3 min readFeb 21, 2024

Building upon the past two days’ articles on back-to-basics revival strategies, today we’ll explore different facets of a marketing action plan that can help underperforming restaurants . For restaurants whose lackluster year-over-year sales have caused restaurant operators to consider significant changes, and even contemplated the possibility of having to close for good, a comprehensive revitalization strategy is a must.

An action plan encompassing marketing, social media, public relations, and an innovative rewards program, augmented by a strong online presence through a website, engaging blog content, and search engine optimization (SEO), can serve as a critical pathway to resurgence and profitability. The heart of rejuvenating a faltering establishment lies in generating excitement that refreshes its appeal and draws in a fresh clientele while rekindling the interest of former guests.

A focused marketing initiative is vital, spotlighting the restaurant’s distinctiveness and its worthiness for another opportunity. Initiatives might include highlighting a menu overhaul, introducing a chef with new culinary perspectives, or organizing themed dining events that promise more than just a meal but an unforgettable experience. Such endeavors aim to showcase the restaurant’s improvements and modifications, addressing prior critiques and demonstrating a dedication to excellence and customer contentment.

Incorporating a well-designed website and an engaging blog into the marketing mix extends the reach and depth of these efforts. A website not only serves as the digital face of the restaurant but also as a platform for customers to explore the menu, make reservations, and get a taste of the restaurant’s atmosphere before they step in. Blogging about topics like the inspiration behind new dishes, sourcing of local ingredients, or stories of the staff adds a personal touch that can deepen customer connection and loyalty.

SEO strategies ensure that the restaurant’s website and blog rank high in search engine results, making it easier for potential customers to discover the restaurant when searching for dining options. Keywords related to the restaurant’s cuisine, location, and unique offerings should be seamlessly integrated into web content, enhancing visibility and attracting a targeted audience.

Social media remains a cornerstone in this turnaround strategy, providing a dynamic platform to broadcast the restaurant’s evolution to a wide audience. Active engagement on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, through regular updates and interactions with followers, creates a buzz and anticipation for what’s next. This direct line to customers also allows for feedback and suggestions, enabling the restaurant to tailor its offerings and service.

Public relations should aim at reshaping the restaurant’s narrative, with local food bloggers, critics, and influencers playing a pivotal role in this transformation. Positive coverage in local media and influential food circles can pique interest and offer the restaurant a chance to redefine itself in the public’s eye.

A rewards program, especially when linked with social media and the restaurant’s online platforms, reinforces customer loyalty and encourages word-of-mouth promotion. Rewards for frequent visits, referrals, or social media engagement can turn customers into advocates, enhancing the restaurant’s reputation and reach.

However, the success of these external strategies hinges on the in-restaurant experience aligning with the renewed brand image. From ambiance and service to the quality of the food, every touchpoint should reflect the restaurant’s commitment to excellence. Staff training is critical to ensure that the service embodies the restaurant’s revitalized ethos, guaranteeing that the customer’s dining experience mirrors the expectations set by the restaurant’s marketing and online presence.

In conclusion, rescuing a restaurant from the brink of failure demands an integrated approach that rejuvenates its brand, engages both new and existing customers, and guarantees an outstanding dining experience. By combining targeted marketing, social media engagement, public relations, a compelling rewards program, and leveraging a website, blog, and SEO, a restaurant can not only survive but flourish, marking a remarkable turnaround from impending doom to celebrated success.

Make it a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

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Paul Segreto

Franchises & Restaurants | Management & Development Consulting | Entrepreneurship Coaching | Visionary Thought Leader | CEO & Founder